Stronger Together: Environmentalists & Housers

On Tuesday, October 20th, Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County and Save The Bay teamed up for a virtual conversation about two of the biggest challenges facing the Bay Area: climate change and the affordability crisis. You can watch the video below:

Watch Councilmember Lisa Gauthier of East Palo Alto, Zoe Siegel, Director of Climate Resilience at Greenbelt Alliance, and Evelyn Stivers, Executive Director of Housing Leadership Council discuss how to tackle the affordability crisis and the climate crisis together.

The Bay Area is home to some of the highest rent prices in the country, and an affordability crisis. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of newly unemployed Californians find themselves worrying about how they will pay rent in the coming months. But housing in the wrong places is at risk of flooding, wildfires, and other climate threats.

With so much at stake, this is an opportune time for affordable housing and environmental groups to join hands in promoting a sustainable path for economic development.

Save The Bay established a relationship with Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County in order to develop a shared understanding of these related regional struggles, and work toward a sustainable and equitable Bay Area. For example, Save The Bay endorsed Housing Leadership Council’s No on Measure Y campaign on the November 2020 Ballot in San Mateo. Measure Y proposed to extend strict height and density limits which would have prevented the city from building needed affordable homes near transit. Measure Y’s restrictions would have added traffic, climate pollution, and pressure for sprawl that are among the biggest threats to a healthy Bay. The campaign brought together affordable housing non-profits, environmental policy experts, economic development groups, independent restaurants, educators, union workers, and more to work towards a more vibrant, inclusive, and climate smart future. Together, we have continued to expand our coordination to support smart growth development strategies in San Mateo County and beyond, as part of our Bay Smart Communities initiative.

As you’ll see in the video above, we don’t have all the answers yet. But by working together, we can share knowledge, and be stronger advocates for policies that protect the health of our Bay and our Bay Area community.